However much it may sound a rarity, there are prides of Lions that climb trees that have been spotted in a few National Parks and game reserves in the world. Prides of Lions climbing trees were only found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda and Lake Manyara National park in Kenya in the early days but there also common sighting of Lions climbing trees in Serengeti National park in Tanzania and Kruger National park in South Africa.
While climbing trees is unusual behaviour for most lion prides, it seems to be fairly common and repeated behaviour among specific prides. This may indicate that there is a measure of behavioural learning that occurs. Young lions see older lions climb trees and copy the behaviour so the habit remains in that pride. And like any skill, the more that they do it, the more adept and confident they become. That is why we find different prides in Queen Elizabeth National Park and some can climb trees while others cannot. Some believe that lions choose to climb trees to get a better view, while others believe it is so that they can catch a bit of a cool breeze on a hot day or get away from tsetse flies and other insects that may bite them at ground level.
Sighting the tree climbing Lions is not a guaranteed occurrence while on a game drive and is not advisable when planning your safari to Africa to entirely base it on seeing tree climbing lines. However on your 3 days Queen Elizabeth Safari in Uganda include a drive to the Ishasha sector in the exploration of the park.
The Ishasha Sector is today very famous because of its mystifying population of the tree-climbing lions that are a very exceptional attraction and as well one of the major highlights for which most guests visit this park. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying up within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs that are graze in the open Ishasha plains – and these are actually the main prey to these lions.
The tree climbing Lions in Ishasha sector can be visited when on a Queen Elizabeth National park exploration tour or a combination of a tour to Bwindi impenetrable national park for a gorilla safari experience and Queen Elizabeth National Park because Ishasha is enroute between the two National parks
Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth National Park is approximately 400 kilometers by road south-west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The town of Kasese is just outside the northeastern edge of the park, while the town of Rubirizi is just outside the park’s southeastern boundaries. The park includes the Maramagambo Forest and borders the Kigezi Game Reserve, the Kyambura Game Reserve, and the Kibale National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.